This week a fellow writer posed a question to an online forum. He wanted to know what to do when you start to hate – or at least dislike – your current project. The majority of responders advised him to put it aside for later, which I thought is really good advice if possible.
Sometimes it’s not. I am about to finish a professional, non-fiction project with several hard and fast deadlines, a project which seemed like a good idea at first. I’ve just made it through most of the flaming hoops (more or less unscathed) and now it is down to the final edits. I will be so glad that I went through with this, I tell myself – because it is true. Who knows, I might even be brilliant.
Recently, a friend found an old poem I wrote during high school. I don’t remember handing it out, but do remember all the angst and feelings that were part of the creative process, the emotional roller coaster of good and bad feedback. Sometimes I’d think – that’s it, I’m never sharing anything ever again.
Eventually, especially when there is no hard and fast deadline out there, eventually you just have to say I hate this because I’ve agonized over it. This text made me work hard. And that may be why this is going to be a great read for someone who isn’t me.
There are also times when I can be in love with my writing. A text can be so fun to write and so lovely and so wonderful – but not to anyone else. Not yet. Sooner or later (always too soon it seems) the text has to go to that First Reader, another human being with their own life and their own time frame. And then, we wait.
Here comes Monday.